Genius Race Car Driver Was Allegedly Drunk During Recent Race

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterJuly 22, 2013

Leslie Charles Hunter was arrested for driving under the influence. So far, nothing that would cause sports fans to turn their heads, until you find out that he was allegedly drunk while racing. 

Calvin Men of the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that the 65-year-old race car driver caused some of his fellow racers to complain about his driving. 

That led to an on-site investigation from officers who found that Hunter may have enjoyed some adult beverages before the race. 

There were complaints that Leslie Charles Hunter was driving recklessly while driving in a race at the speedway around 8:20 p.m., officer Jacob Gonzales said.

Gonzales, who responded to the complaint, said he found Hunter in the pit area of the venue after the race.

Hunter had just completed a race, Gonzales said. Witnesses said Hunter's driving forced other drivers off or to the side of the track.

We have to second what a number of the reports out there state: Drinking and driving is always a horrible idea. There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel of a car when you shouldn't. 

Of course, this story draws headlines because you would think a race car driver would want every last one of his faculties when competing. 

Hunter thought little of his own prospects out on the course and very little of the safety of others. The most important part of the report is that nobody was hurt despite what was seemingly aggressive and reckless driving. 

Officer Gonzales assessed the situation and decided to arrest Hunter for "suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol content level higher than 0.08 percent."

Now, Hunter has the distinction of being a pioneer in what has to be the most dangerous and dumbest decision in race car driving. 

(Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article contained an undated photo of the No. 71 car at Watsonville Ocean Speedway. The photo has been removed by request, as the No. 71 car was not operated by Mr. Hunter.)

Hit me up on Twitter